Thursday, September 5, 2013

Planning with Priorities

The life of a mother is a full life - never a dull moment, and the hours and days run together, and blend into a never-ending blur. Mothering takes all our energy, and our moments - each day. And sometimes we wonder how we can even survive, and what in the world we ever accomplish.

How can we cling to our sanity, and our direction, when we are busy from morning till night? We find ourselves in a place of constant need. Of strength, love, and peace. And this may be exactly where God wants us to be, for it is there in our place of need, that we learn that we are in need of Him

And in His grace and mercy, He also brings ideas to our minds to help in the busy years of mothering. The idea of planning with my priorities continually in front of me was one of those gifts from Him in my early years of mothering. And one that I have been using for 35 years now! (How can the time go by so quickly?!)

My very first Priority Planner - in September 1978!

I first was introduced to the idea of actually having my main priorities written out and in front of me as I made out my plans for the coming week, from reading Linda Dillow's Creative Counterpart. I used her Priority Planner for quite a few years.

In subsequent years, as our family grew to include six children, I continued to organize my daily/weekly focus with my priorities before me. And even today, in my "empty nest" years, as a mom of six (all grown, but still their mom), and grama of ten, I still do my weekly planning with my priorities before me.

Life does not always (actually, hardly ever!) fit neatly into priorities and categories, but using a planner with our main goals/priorities in front of us at all times, helps greatly in keeping us on the right track. And also gives us confidence that we are focusing on the things of most importance.

"A wise woman builds her home ... "

(Proverbs 14:1)

In the coming weeks/months (as time allows), I hope to share how holding these priorities before me has been a help and encouragement to me in mothering. I hope to write a post on each of the priorities that God has given me: (1) First Love - nurturing my relationship with God first of all. (2) My Husband - being the helpmeet and companion that he needs, and building into our marriage. (3) Family - giving of myself to build into each member, and into the whole as a unit. (4) Home - caring for the physical needs of our family, while creating an environment for love and growth. (5) Personal - taking time to nurture my personal needs so I am free to give to others. (6) Outside the Home - giving of my time for whatever He calls me to outside of the home; caring for what is on God's heart for the world.

Sharing not from a life that has accomplished these things perfectly; in fact, the opposite is true. I was in need as a young mom, and still am in need. I need His grace, mercy, and love each new day. And keeping my priorities before me continues to help keep me on track. Your specific priorities may look a bit different than mine, but all should come from seeking His direction and listening to Him, the One who gives us this great privilege of mothering.

"Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

(Psalm 90:12)

Continuing on in writing on mothering after a break of a few months ... Click here for earlier posts on mothering - Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother

Links to all the posts in this Planning with Priorities series:
Planning with Priorities
First Priority
Loving Our Husbands 
The Gift of Family
Making a Home
Time for Me
Beyond Our Homes

Linking up with:
Hearts for Home
Thrive at Home
Faith-Filled Friday
I'm Lovin' It
Fellowship Fridays
Saturday Show & Tell
Inspiration Exchange
Works for Me Wednesday


  1. Love this! I definitely needed the encouragement to do more planning. We seem to "fly by the seat of our pants" around here but some structure would serve us well! Thank you :)

    1. You are welcome, Jen! We all need help with focusing on the things of most importance, no matter where we are in life. Hope this is helpful and encouraging to you ...

  2. This is one of the things I have been working on this week! Thanks for linking up to Thrive @ Home. :)

    1. You are welcome, Jenni - and have fun with your planning!

  3. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience!

  4. I love how that first priority verse in your old planner (Seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness...) sums up everything in our lives. I also love how you acknowledge your need for God's mercy & grace EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thank you for this little peek into your past & present, it's encouraging! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    1. Thanks for your visit, Cynthia - and for your words of thanks and encouragement! Yes, so in need, every single day.

  5. Linda Dillow came to speak at our church a few months ago and I was able to tell her how much I loved her planner when I was a newlywed. :)